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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Home Kill Beef - Bringing Home the Meat

The Home Kill was collected today from the butcher. The final price came to 3.65/KG including purchase of the animal. In addition extra bones for the dogs were provided.

The butcher packed the steaks into parcels of two with labels, although on some cuts the labelling was only in ink and some packets slipped from 2 pieces to 3 and on the Scotch Fillet 4 pieces. The roasts were a bit large and these were cut into 2 or 3 by us and repacked. The offal was cut but in a single bag, as were the dog bones and trimmings. These bulk packs were repackaged into more suitable sizes.

A few large roast are going to be cured with spices and these were set aside for later processing. No sausages or corned beef were requested. Anything that couldn't be steaked or roasted went into mince a more useful commodity for us.

185 kilograms of meat is a lot to pack away and freeze. In the past the whole lot went into chest freezers and then had to be stirred around every day until it all froze. If they are not stirred a solid bloody block of ice becomes a hammer and chisel exercise.

This time two upright freezers were employed. Rather than pack densely all the packages were seated into cardboard trays kept from dog and cat food can purchases. They now get a second life and later will serve a third purpose as blood flavoured compost for the worms. The trays were placed on shelves in a single depth for maximum air flow. There wasn't enough upright freezer space and a few packs went into the chest freezers interspersed with other frozen products.

48 hours should be enough to have them set solid. After that the chest freezers will be employed to hold sample packs of each cut for easy access and a single upright will be packed solid with the remaining meat. The upright will then not need to be opened except to refill the chest freezer with mixed samples every few months. Uprights are notoriously inefficient because the cold air flows out when the door is opened. The advantage of uprights is the easy accessibility to the different products.

In hindsight the upright that was purchased some years ago was a poor choice. A larger chest freezer would have been a cheaper buy price, cheaper to run and stored more product. Some time in the near future it will be downgraded to use in wine making and as a backup to the chest freezers and a large chest freezer acquired as its replacement.

And finally the clean up was performed before retiring to the house to prepare dinner.

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